Monday, November 29, 2010

Caesar Salad Pizza

Caesar salad is my number one favorite kind of salad. It's usually pretty consistent on the toppings and the wonderful flavor of the dressing is amazing, too. I have made other pizza crusts before but this one is very doughy and tastes just like bread you would serve with a normal side caesar salad. It's not like my deep dish pizza crust or anything close to it. I did roll these crusts out thinner because they looked too thick compared to the picture on the website. They did, however rise a little more than I would have hoped so I will probably make them even thinner next time. Don't be afraid to roll the dough thinner than you normally like it; it will turn out perfect! Also, feel free to add or omit toppings you like on your salads. I added chicken to make this a more wholesome dinner.

Caesar Salad Pizza
Adapted from: Annie's Eats, originally The Pastry Queen

For the crust:
1 ½ cups warm water
5 tsp instant yeast
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 tsp honey
4-5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp red pepper flakes
¾ cup coarse cornmeal
freshly shredded parmesan cheese

For assembly:
Caesar dressing
1 large head Romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
garlic croutons
Parmesan shavings

To make the crust, combine the water, yeast, oil, honey and 3 cups flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add the salt and red pepper flakes. Mix on low speed until combined. Add 1 more cup of the flour and mix until soft. Mix on low speed for 5 minutes to knead. Add the rest of the flour 1-2 Tablespoons at a time (as needed) until the dough is smooth and tacky but not sticky.

Coat 2 baking sheets with olive oil (or preheat a pizza stone, unoiled). Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Sprinkle baking sheet(s) with cornmeal. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces (use only those needed, freeze the rest in plastic wrap and a ziploc bag). Cover the dough with a damp towel and let sit for 10 minutes, until the oven heats up.
With a rolling pin, flatten dough ball into 10-inch circle on well-floured surface. Brush each dough with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Transfer to prepared baking sheet or stone and bake until lightly golden and crisp, about 10-15 minutes.

To assemble the salad, combine lettuce, tomatoes and dressing (as desired) in large mixing bowl. Toss to coat evenly and place a generous amount on cooked, warm pizza crust. Top with parmesan cheese and croutons as desired.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pot Roast

Welcome to Black Friday 2010! While out shopping, why not throw something in the crock pot for when you come crawling in the door late afternoon, exhausted from fighting other people to get that $40 Tom Tom. Getting your toes stepped on 50 times, getting pushed so many times that you become numb to it, and standing out in the blistering cold with nothing to do; now that's Black Friday. You should come home to a wonderful (and warm) dinner that you "slaved over" all day to make. ;)

Pot roast has always been a staple in our house growing up and still is today! This is by far the easiest recipe (thank you, mr. crock pot) and one of the first that I ever learned how to make. The beef comes out so juicy but tender (I've tasted some dry roasts before, yuck) and the veggies complement it very well. My husband also requested some bread and butter on the side this time. We had some on hand and the loaf must've caught his eye. This would also work well with just about any dinner roll, too.

Pot Roast
Kelly's Kitch Original
Serves: 4

2-4 pound boneless pork rump
3 large potatoes, peeled diced into 1-inch pieces
4-5 large carrots, peeled and chopped into 2-inch-long pieces
1 can mushroom soup
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning

Place all ingredients into crock pot and fill it with enough water to just cover the roast. Mix the soup and spices in well. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Use a slotted spoon to dish out the meat and place on a separate plate, dividing into equal-sized portions. Using the slotted spoon, scoop out potatoes and carrots and place on serving dishes with the meat. Enjoy!

If you want to save the roast for leftovers/lunch the next day, place into airtight tupperware container and spoon in some of the crock pot liquid to preserve the moisture.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Traditional Lasagna

I posted this in the early Kelly's Kitch days and the picture was very, well, drab. It wasn't very enticing and you really couldn't see anything but the cheese on top. Since then I have gotten much better at using my point-and-shoot camera to compete with the "professional" bloggers that use a dSLR camera. They just make it look so incredibly easy! Well given my camera, I'm quite proud.

When all else fails for dinner and I really can't think of anything to cook, I always reach for this recipe that my mom handed down to me. It is a no-fail and delicious dinner .. no matter what. I just am getting lazier with my cooking (in my eyes anyways) and don't want to make sides. However, this would go very well with traditional garlic bread, breadsticks, or even cheesy garlic bread.

Traditional Lasagana
Kelly's Kitch original
Serves: 6-8

1 pound ground beef
1 can tomatoes
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
1/3 cup water
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp oregano
1/4 lb lasagna noodles, cooked
8 ounces mozzarella cheese
1/2 tub ricotta cheese (4 oz)
parmesan cheese

Boil and drain the lasagna noodles according to package directions until al dente. Set aside.
Meanwhile, brown meat in large skillet. Add the onion and cook until tender (about 4-5 minutes). Stir in tomatoes, paste, water, garlic and seasonings. Cover and simmer on low 25 minutes. In a 12x8 greased baking dish, layer the lasagna in this order: noodles, meat sauce, racotta cheese, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers. Bake uncovered in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

This recipe makes two layers. Double it for a deep-dish three layered lasagna for a large party!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Roast Chicken with Caramelized Shallots

Rare is it when I make chicken that isn't boneless and skinless. These bone-in and skin-on chicken breasts were amazingly good. Usually the only chicken bone-in that I eat is at BW3's; I love their wings. Well I decided to go out of my comfort zone and I’m pretty glad that I did. Although the chicken, to me, seemed a little plain I know that I will be able to add more spices next time. I will definitely add more liquid, too, as there was no liquid left before cooking which I think made the chicken a little drier than it should have been. The recipe below reflects that change. They really go well with steamed broccoli (hidden in some cheese for my husband) and macaroni and cheese. If you aren’t looking for a hugely complicated recipe with a bunch of seasonings that you usually don’t have on hand, this is your recipe!

Roast Chicken with Caramelized Shallots
Adapted from: Annie’s Eats, originally The French Farmhouse Cookbook
Serves: 2-4

3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 shallots, peeled and minced
2-4 pieces bone-in chicken breast (or thighs)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Minced fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 425º F. In a baking dish large enough to keep the chicken pieces in one layer, combine the oil, vinegar, soy sauce, broth and shallots. Whisk to combine. Coat the chicken with the mixture in the dish and lay them in a single layer. Spoon some of the shallots on top of the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, as desired.

Bake the chicken for 20 minutes (until the chicken begins to brown on top) and then turn them over and spoon more of the juices and shallots on top. Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. The shallots should be caramelized as well. While the chicken is cooking the second 20 minutes, this is the best time to get started on side items so that they won’t get cold.

Sprinkle the chicken with parsley and serve warm.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cinnamon Sugar Biscotti

If you've ever been to a cafe or Starbucks, you have probably seen their biscotti. Do they make them fresh every day? Maybe. You probably won't get a straight answer. If you were to ask me to choose between taking the time to bake my own biscotti or buying it at a cafe, I would choose to bake it any time! After baking this biscotti, I will never ever buy them at a cafe again! The ones you buy are so rock-hard you feel kind of like you might need to get your dentist on speed dial. Yes, I'm talking chipping-teeth hard. These have the perfect amount of crispiness complemented by a wonderful chewiness, too. They go great with hot drinks (coffee, tea, hot coco) or even a big glass of milk; dessert anyone? Did I mention that this was the first thing I've ever made to be eaten so quickly?! :)

Cinnamon Sugar Biscotti
Adapted from: Annie's Eats, originally Joy the Baker
Yields: 20-24 cookies

For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar (granulated, white)
6 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract

For topping:
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 large egg, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 325˚ F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat (or parchment paper). In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Whisk slightly and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together (paddle attachment) on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a spatula if necessary. Blend in the egg and yolk, beating well after each. Add the vanilla until well incorporated. Moving the mixer to low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients until a dough forms.

Divide dough into two halves and shape each half into a 9-inch long log. They should be about 1.5 inches wide. Place them onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing the logs at least 3-inches apart. In a small bowl, whisk the beaten egg briefly. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a separate small bowl and taste for preference. Add more sugar or cinnamon as desired. Baste the beaten egg on top of the two logs and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking. Bake until tops are golden brown and slightly firm. Remove the pan from the oven but maintain the temperature in it. Once the logs are cool enough to handle, slice diagonally along the loaves into 1.5-inch thick pieces (10 per log). Place the sliced biscotti onto the baking sheet again, cut side down. Sprinkle with a little more of the cinnamon sugar mixture and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until golden and crispy.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pumpkin Yeast Bread

With all the pumpkin recipes I tried this year (of course, trying to make up for years past with zero), I decided against my better judgement to find a pumpkin bread recipe. I thought my husband would be so happy and even make his sandwiches each day for lunch on them. Nope, didn't happen. We let this loaf sit and sit all week while I procrastinated making apple butter. Unfortunately I only had a few slices, but they were a few slices of heaven. They were good, but I wouldn't make a sandwich with them. I would probably eat them as toast for breakfast slathered with apple butter. Mmm, sounds amazing right?! Well I'll have to give the update on that when I finally do make the apple butter; I'll be sure to make another batch of this bread.

I also halved the recipe to make only one loaf of bread and it came out perfectly. I did slice them a little too thick for my taste so I would suggest slicing about as thick as normal loaves of bread you find at the grocery store. Plus, unless you have a toaster oven, these thicker pieces may not fit well in the toaster. ;) Enjoy!

Pumpkin Yeast Bread
Adapted from: Annie’s Eats, originally King Arthur Flour
Yields: 2 large loaves of bread

½ cup warm water
1½ Tbsp instant yeast
2/3 cup warm milk
2 large eggs
1½ cups pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp vegetable (or canola) oil
½ cup brown sugar
2 tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon*
¼ tsp ground ginger*
¼ tsp ground nutmeg*
dash of ground cloves
6½ cups bread flour (approximately)

* Substitute all these spices if you already have Pumpkin Pie Spice in your pantry, using 1 Tbsp.

In a bowl of a stand mixer (paddle attachment), mix the water and yeast briefly. Add the milk, eggs, pumpkin, oil, brown sugar, salt and spices. Mix briefly to combine. Add 4 cups of the bread flour to the mixture and mix until dough becomes sticky. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Continue to add the remaining flour on low speed a little at a time. You should have a dough that is not sticky anymore and smooth. Transfer dough to a well-oiled mixing bowl and turn it over to coat in the oil. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise at room temperature until it is doubled, about 1 hour.

Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide in half. Shape each piece into a rectangle 9-inches long and 1-inch thick. With the rectangle horizontal, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder left to right. Pinch the seams closed well. Place each dough roll into a well-oiled loaf pan (9x5-inch). Press the loaves down so that they just touch each side of the pan. Cover with a towel and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Bake the loaves for about 30 minutes. You can also use an instant-read thermometer (which I don’t have .. yet) until it reads 190° F. The bread should be a little darkened. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Slice thinly (like the thickness of a loaf of bread).

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chicken Curry Soup

Indian food is something I’ve never tackled, nor have I had in many years. I love it, but I think my husband is just “never in the mood” for it unfortunately. Or that is his excuse anyways. Well luckily I got a free cookbook with my latest Pampered Chef order so I chose the Soups book. I figured it’s almost winter and they might come in handier than a dessert book (although I seriously considered that one but didn’t want to totally ruin my husband’s P90X plan). So I got the cookbook and all of the soups and chilis look absolutely wonderful. Luckily here in Indiana the weather could be 70º F one day and 50 º F the next so I can plan out burgers and stews in the same week.

This soup was not exactly as spicy as I thought it would be. I don’t think it’s anything like traditional Indian food but it does have a great taste. It reminded us more of a beefed up version of chicken noodle soup more than anything. It has more spices and is more flavorful than the traditional soup. Thus, this would be a great weeknight dinner for guests or just the family. I would still stick with traditional chicken noodle soup for when you are feeling a bit under the weather though.

Indian Chicken Curry Soup
Adapted from: Soups, Stews & Chilis (Pampered Chef)
Serves: 8

1 large onion, diced
1 large Yukon gold potato, unpeeled and diced
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
dash salt and pepper
1 ¼ Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ginger root, peeled and grated
1 ½ Tbsp curry powder
1 ½ tsp ground coriander
6 cups chicken stock (1.5L)
3 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp cold water
1 ½ cups carrots and corn mixture, chopped (originally called for peas and carrots)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
3 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
¾ cup plain Greek yogurt

Combine chicken and a dash of salt and pepper in a small bowl and toss to coat evenly. Set aside. Heat ½ Tbsp of the vegetable oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat 1-3 minutes, or until shimmering. Add the chicken and cook evenly for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown, stirring occasionally. The chicken will not be done yet, but remove it from the pot and set aside on a plate.

Add the remaining oil to the pot and add the onion, cooking until it is browned, about 2-3 minutes. Add a pinch more of black pepper and the minced garlic, ginger, curry, and coriander. Cook and stir 1 minute until fragrant. Whisk in stock. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water. Whisk to combine and add to the pot. Add in the chicken and potato to the pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook an additional 8-10 minutes or until the potato pieces are tender.

Stir in the carrots/corn mixture, cilantro (if using), mint and a pinch of salt. Remove pot from heat. Place yogurt into a medium sized mixing bowl and carefully ladle 2 cups of the pot mixture into the bowl with the yogurt. Whisk together the mixture in the mixing bowl and slowly return back to the pot. Whisk until completely incorporated. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Spinach Artichoke Dip

If my husband and I are eating out at a restaurant, we typically splurge a little bit. Spinach and artichoke dip is one thing we never disagree on when it comes to ordering an appetizer. I never really thought I could replicate any dip recipe, but this is a healthier and just as tasty spinach and artichoke dip. I actually baked these in smaller ramekin's so that we could bring them in our lunches. My husband absolutely loved them! According to the website these little guys are about 100-110 calories per 1/4 cup (about the size of my rammekins). I added a tiny bit more cheese so it's a little over 100 calories.

Spinach Artichoke Dip
Adapted from: Food Network
Serves: 4-6

Pinch salt
10 oz baby spinach leaves
fresh basil (1 cup); or 4 Tbsp dry basil
¾ cup canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
6 oz Neufchatel cream cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup chicken broth
14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained, squeezed dry, and finely chopped
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
pinch cayenne pepper, to taste
2-3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
pinch ground pepper, to taste
chips, for dipping

Preheat the oven to 450-degrees. Boil water and salt stovetop. Prepare an ice water bowl while water is heating up by placing very cold water and lots of ice cubes into a large mixing bowl. Stir the spinach leaves into the boiling water and keep immersed for 30 seconds, until the leaves turn bright green. Remove spinach from boiling water and place into ice water bath. Drain and squeeze dry, then roughly chop.

Puree the beans, cream cheese, garlic and broth in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to medium mixing bowl and fold in the chopped spinach, artichokes, parmesan and ¾ cup of the mozzarella cheese. Add cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and black pepper. Toss to combine.

Place mixture into oven-proof, greased individual ramekins or large serving bowl, about 1-quart. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake until bubbly, about 20-25 minutes at 450 degrees.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies

I was a little hesitant to originally make these cookies because of the sunken-in appearance of the butterscotch chips. Not that the cookies have to be pretty, but it just made them look kind of hard to make. I was completely shocked by how many cookies this recipe yielded and how fluffy they were. Because of that, you really want to make sure to have plenty of milk for dipping these little lovelies into. This would make a great treat to bring to the family for the holidays and they will be astonished to see that you have found canned pumpkin puree. Too bad they don’t know that you actually made the puree yourself at home. I know that really helped me to try all of my pumpkin recipes this year. Plus if you find pie pumpkins pretty cheap, then that is all it will cost you, besides time.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies
Adapted from: Annie's Eats, originally Joy the Baker
Yields: 25 cookies

2 cups plus 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup canola oil (or vegetable)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs and sugar. Beat on medium-high until smooth, about 1 minute. Blend in the oil, puree and vanilla. Mix well.

On low speed, add dry mixture into the stand mixer a little at a time. Mix until well incorporated and then fold in the butterscotch chips. Drop the dough balls with a small ice cream scooper onto a silicone-lined baking sheet and bake for 14-16 minutes. Make sure to rotate halfway through the cooking time. When they are done, a toothpick should come out clean from the middle of the cookies. Allow to cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

The pumpkin taste really didn’t set in until the second day so store these in an airtight container for up to 5 days and enjoy them from the fridge or heated for a brief 10 seconds in the microwave. Don’t forget the milk!

Monday, November 8, 2010


Meatloaf. Every child's nightmare. As it is with most children, it was with me. I hated my mom's meatloaf and wouldn't even try it. Once I did, I was hooked. She lured me into it by tricking me and making me think that the process to make it is fun. She was right, it actually is pretty fun. Mixing everything in a bowl and being able to smash and squeeze the life out of it is really fun and a good stress reliever for a long, hard day (not that I know about those anymore being unemployed). This meatloaf is a basic, delicious and easy recipe for any family. My husband tends to devour it leaving no slice behind. It goes really well with a teeny tiny bit of ketchup, too. For my husband's benefit, I also only put a ton of onion on one side so he doesn't have to eat them as he doesn't like them.

Kelly's Kitch original
Serves: 3-4

1lb ground beef
½ cup onion (more or less for preference)
1/3 cup ketchup
2 pieces of bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
1 egg
2 pieces of bread, for baking

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl by hand, except the two bread pieces for baking. Grease a glass baking dish and place the two bread pieces on the bottom of the pan. Place the meatloaf mixture on top in the shape of a loaf of bread and bake, uncovered. Make sure the meatloaf is not touching the sides of the glass baking dish. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the center is no longer pink.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Garlic Knots

I've always been afraid to make dough, breads, etc. Recently I have discovered just how easy they all are to make. I still didn't really have a great roll recipe, but I knew I was going to really need one with the cold weather approaching. I can't describe just how amazingly delicious these little rolls are. If you don’t believe me, make them yourself (please do, they are so tasty). I’m all about easy and buying store-bought items for a big holiday or get-together, but I definitely will not skimp on the rolls ever again! I even had a roll by itself for dessert later the night I baked them. They are just that good.

Garlic Knots
Adapted from: Annie’s Eats, originally King Arthur Flour
Yields: 10 rolls (or “knots”)

For the dough:
3 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
1 ¼ tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup milk
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp warm water

For the glaze:
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp butter, melted
½ tsp Italian Seasoning

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all the dry ingredients for the dough (flour, sugar, yeast, salt). Mix briefly to combine. Add the oil, milk and water and mix until dough forms. Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead the dough on low until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.

Transfer the dough to an oiled mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm area for at least 1 hour (to rise). Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 10-inch long rope and tie a knot in the middle. Fold the ends of the dough into the middle where the knot was just formed (top end goes underneath and bottom end comes up on top). Transfer to a stone baking sheet or cookie tray lined with a silicone mat. Allow to rise, covered lightly with a kitchen towel, for 45 minutes. Knots should be puffy.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To make the glaze, mix: cloves, butter and seasoning in a small bowl. Brush mixture onto the knots on the cooking sheet. Bake in the oven for 16-18 minutes until they are lightly browned on the tops. Allow knots to sit on the baking sheet for 3 minutes to cool and transfer to wire cooling rack or serve immediately.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sugar Grapes

Thumbing through my great-grandmother's recipe book, I came across this recipe. Sugar, egg whites and grapes. Simply from intrigue I pulled out the ingredients from my fridge and starting making these little guys. I only did a few, just in case they didn't taste all that good. Well, the result was interesting. The sugar did harden on the skins of the grapes although some had too much sugar (never thought I'd say that). My advice to anyone that wants to make these is to not put too much sugar on the grapes. The sweetness of the sugar and juiciness of the grapes are a perfect combination. I might even suggest mixing the grapes in the egg whites and then tossing with a small amount of sugar in a small bowl. Although they are a little sweet, they make for great finger food or a sweet side dish to your holiday meal. Another idea is just for a centerpiece or visual effect, these are adorable!

Sugar Grapes
Kelly's Kitch Original

20-30 grapes
1 egg, yolk removed
Sugar to coat

Dip the grapes in the egg white and then into a small bowl containing the sugar. Place the grapes on a cookie sheet to dry. If you want to speed the process a little, dip the grapes into the egg white and place in a small bowl. Then, add a little sugar at a time and coat the grapes, until desired coverage. Allow the sugar to harden on the skin of the grapes for at least 1 hour.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chicken Empanadas, revisited

I first made these quite some time back but the picture was dull, lifeless and let's be honest: unappetizing. I absolutely turn to these empanadas whenever I have the craving for Mexican but don’t have a lot of time (or energy) for a complete meal. These would be perfect for an appetizer as well since they qualify as “finger food” and are small. Whatever the occasion, these little bites are sure to please anyone!
Chicken Empanadas
Adapted from: Paula Deen
Serves: 4-6

2 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed small
8 oz Monterey Jack Cheese blend
4-6 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
3 pie crusts, unbaked

I cooked the chicken ahead of time by boiling 2 parts water, 1 part chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside on a plate to cool.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease two baking sheets. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except water and pie crust. Mix well. Unroll one pie crust onto lightly floured surface and roll into a 15-inch circle (a bit thinner than what the package comes in). Cut rounds using a large cookie cutter (or I used the rim of a can from a 28-ounce jar of diced tomatoes). I am all about reycling! ;) As the rounds are cut, place a generous 1 tbsp of the mixture in the middle. With a clean fingertip, lightly brush the edges of the crust with the water. Fold dough over and seal gently with a fork.

Repeat and re-roll all dough until all empanadas are made and placed on baking sheets. Bake for 15-17 minutes and allow to cool for 1-2 minutes before serving. They will be hot!